Friday, May 15, 2009

Suspense Novelist Bites Bullet

I have entered the Danger Zone. There are other people here, but I'm the only Me, and it's a bit frightening.

Making a monetary investment in one's career can be daunting. Inspiring. Murderous. Visionary. Intense.

I have joined Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Add that to American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime, and I'm well . . . plugged in. And a dues paying writer. To writer's groups. Three of them.

Tomorrow I'm attending a workshop sponsored by RMFW and given by Chris Roerden, author of Don't Murder Your Mystery. An investment of both time and money.

But the big one? The one that has brought suspense to my own doorstep?

I registered for the ACFW conference in September. I'll be taking a class from Donald Maass the day before at an Early Bird session. That kind of expense bestows commitment. My self-imposed finish line (which today feels much more like a deadline) of mid-July has taken on all kinds of ominous overtones.

I have been referred to two agents by other writers, but have promised myself not to pursue them until I had something reasonably marketable to offer. I also refrained from paying for yet another conference until I had the same. Now, I'm paying for a conference and planning on scheduling appointments with those agents.

What have I wrought?

Today is either gonna be a fantabulous day of writing for me, or it's just gonna suck. Anxiety is propelling me. I pray toward something productive and as close to what Jenny calls a Perfect First Draft as I can get.

All advice welcome. Company, too.


CR: Dead On by Robert W. Walker. I'm almost 1/2 through. Hope to finish it sometime this weekend.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Your day will be EXACTLY what you make it. Don't create trouble for yourself. Just don't!
    Chris Roerden, Wow! Fantastic!
    Donald Maas... wow! He's worth the entire ACFW conference. You'll learn a lot. Pursue these opportunities with GUSTO. God is opening doors.

  2. It was a wonderful workshop. Some information that was new to me, some that wasn't, but a pretty darned impressive group of writers.

    Unfortunately, not one word got written while I was there. And today. Well, today is best left alone.


  3. You know, the entire time I was filling out the form to register for the ACFW conference, I felt sick to my stomach, hard to breathe...I couldn't believe I was making such a huge commitment...both financial and emotional. Wow...the stuff we're going to experience, the things we're going to hear and do and see. *gulp* I even signed up for a critique from Jeff Gerke. That means I have to finish my ms and polish it by the deadline, which I don't even know yet. Aaaaahhhh...(no hyperventilating this time, Ralene).

  4. Is this your first ACFW conference, Ralene? You will love it. If everyone you meet doesn't uplift you in some way, let me know because I can probably take 'em. Most important . . . be comfortable. Be yourself. Be a sponge.

    And since I live in the area, I know Denver will love you!

  5. Yeah, first ACFW conference--actually first writing conference period. Hence the hyperventilating. lol... I really am excited, I just get totally nervous about these things. You know?

  6. Peg, I am so impressed by all the angles you're approaching this from!! I feel certain that you + reasonably finished ms + contacts + conf experience + referrals (see, I said you were coming at this with great breadth!) will result in something even better than a PFD (which, of course, is akin to a Bigfoot sighting)...a working relationship with an agent. It's 90% committment and you've clearly got that. You sound so polished and realistic and professional already...I think you're doing everything at exactly the right stage for you.

    I too set dates like fact, I have held off blogging until I receive my first offer...but I think we may do ourselves a disservice. Writing is less about reaching one set starting line than accepting being on an ongoing journey. There's no right time to do anything--it's about working and meeting and connecting until the time is right and the pieces we've assembled all fall into place.

    I am so excited to hear how this plays out for you! Incidentally, I'm sure you've got plenty of wonderful trustys in place, but if you ever hanker for another reader, I'd be honored...

    Good luck--July is ages off--just take deep breaths and enjoy yourself along the way!